Sunday, March 29, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Keyboard Festival to trace evolution from harpsichord through fortepiano to modern Steinway

By
From page A9 | April 29, 2014 |

Craig-ColorW

UC Davis faculty harpsichordist Phebe Craig will take part in the Keyboard Festival at the Mondavi Center between May 1-5. Courtesy photo

Keyboard instruments have changed a lot over the past few centuries, and the UC Davis music department’s upcoming Keyboard Festival — with five events at the Mondavi Center between May 1 and 5 — will feature their evolution.

Showcased will be harpsichords, chamber instruments of the sort that were common during the early 1700s, when J.S. Bach was composing; a fortepiano, the instrument of choice during the career of Mozart in the late 1700s, and Beethoven in the early 1800s; and the larger, louder modern piano, created in the late 1800s, and sturdy enough to withstand the onslaught of a performance by a powerful virtuoso like Franz Liszt, with a sound big enough to fill a concert hall with more than 1,000 seats.

It will be a somewhat larger festival than the music department has put on in the past for other instruments. As faculty composer (and violist) Kurt Rohde put it, “Two years ago we talked about doing a Keyboard Festival, and it’s a little more involved than doing a Viola or Flute Festival, because there’s so much keyboard music, over so many decades. So it’s a more substantial series, over four days, with more artists.”

The series will start Thursday, May 1, with a free noontime concert in Jackson Hall, featuring members of the UCD Baroque Ensemble and the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble performing concertos for two harpsichords and four harpsichords by J.S. Bach.

The series continues Friday, May 2, at 7 p.m. with more chamber music, with UCD faculty harpsichordist Phebe Craig, Mills College fortepianist Belle Bulwinkle and early keyboard specialist Katherine Westine performing works by German Baroque composers J.S. Bach and his son W.F. Bach, French Baroque composers Francois Couperin and Jean-Philippe Rameau, and Classical era composers associated with Vienna like W.A. Mozart (a sonata for piano and violin), Josef Haydn (a fantasia), and Ludwig van Beethoven.

This program will give listeners an opportunity to compare the plucked-string sound of Italian-style harpsichord (“full of pizzazz,” as Craig put it) with the “smoother” French instruments, including the smaller-style harpsichord that existed in Couperin’s time, and the larger instrument that came later during Rameau’s day.

The fortepiano, which had hammers that hit the strings, created a new realm of musical possibilities that were explored by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. Tickets are $12-$17 general, $8 for students.

Then on Saturday, May 3, at 7 p.m., the UCD Symphony Orchestra will premiere a new piano concerto by Swedish-born composer Mika Pelo, a member of the UCD music faculty, in Jackson Hall, performed by Bay Area pianist Eric Zivian.

Although not formally part of the Keyboard Festival, this concert certainly complements the festival theme. Tickets are $12-$17 general, $8 for students.

On Sunday, May 4, at noon, professor and musicologist Carol Hess will be joined by Belle Bulwinkle and Phebe Craig in a discussion of “the great evolution of keyboard instruments” that took place in the 18th century, as the fortepiano developed into an instrument that could play both loud and soft, and the “significant changes in keyboard technique” that resulted.

After the discussion, guests can inspect (and even gently play a few notes on) several harpsichords, a clavichord and a fortepiano that will be on display.

“It will be like the family tree of keyboard instruments,” Craig said. “But even though the instruments may look somewhat similar, there is a gulf between them.”

This is a free event.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, May 4, there will be a free recital in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre featuring faculty pianists Lois Brandwynne, Michael Seth Orland and Marilyn Swan, who will take turns performing a variety of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Messiaen, Rachmaninoff and more, which were composed with the more modern versions of the piano in mind.

Then the festival will conclude that evening at 7 p.m. with a recital on fortepiano and piano by Eric Zivian. The program includes several short works composed for fortepiano by Muzio Clementi, Mozart and Beethoven (the Sonata in C Major No. 2, with Zivian and cellist Tanya Tomkins), performed on a copy of a 1795 instrument.

Then Zivian will move to a modern Steinway, and perform short works by UCD faculty composers Christian Baldini and Kurt Rohde, works by French Impressionist composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, and other works. Tickets are $12-$17 general, $8 for students.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

comments

.

News

Motive for murder-suicide remains a mystery

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Davis sewage to get new digs

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Where do Davis recyclables go?

By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
UCD faculty receive lowest pay in the system

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1

Human Relations Commission hosts Chávez celebration

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

 
 
Davis Flower Arrangers meet Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

‘Music as Medicine’ is radio show topic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
Friendship the topic on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
.

Forum

A phone call could have fixed this

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
Milt Prigee cartoon

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

Some ‘survey’ …

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
These results were meaningless

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Survey not representative

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Answers on the green waste program

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

A Little Respect for Dr. Foster

By Nicholas Kristof | From Page: B5

 
Universities need more funding

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

Mayor’s corner: Looking ahead to spring

By Dan Wolk | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
Father of the bride snubbed

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Which experiences count as ‘once in a lifetime’?

By Marion Franck | From Page: A8

 
After a month of no TV news, I’m feeling much better

By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A8

Take a hike for your heart

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Sports

Aggie softball splits doubleheader

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Republic stun Galaxy with repeated history

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Bad fourth quarter sinks boys lacrosse

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Aggies’ walkoff win clinches series against Riverside

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Burns scores shootout winner to lift Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggie women’s tennis dominates at home

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B10 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Grant writing for non-profits workshop set

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
Millennials are changing our community

By Rob White | From Page: A9

With new owner, DAC will Get Fit

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, March 29, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8